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British ISPs Respond On Filtering

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the defenders-of-the-porn dept.

Censorship 163

An anonymous reader writes "UK ISPs have responded to culture minister Ed Vaisey's comments regarding pervasive, opt-out only porn filtering, bringing up many of the technical and civil-liberties issues also raised on Slashdot. In response to the government proposal, Nicholas Lansman, secretary general of the Ispa industry body, said: 'Ispa firmly believes that controls on children's access to the internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down.' Trefor Davies, chief technology officer at ISP Timico, commented that 'Unfortunately, it's technically not possible to completely block this stuff. You end up with a system that's either hugely expensive and a losing battle because there are millions of these sites or it's just not effective. The cost of putting these systems in place outweigh the benefits, to my mind.' Mr. Davies also feared that any wide-scale attempt to police pornographic content would soon be expanded to include pirated pop songs, films and TV shows. 'If we take this step it will not take very long to end up with an internet that's a walled garden of sites the governments is happy for you to see,' he said."

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Hi there England... (3, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625632)

Let me introduce you to Common Sense... Oh, I see you two just met...

Now, now, now's the time right now! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34625710)

What slowness can I offer you? I'm copyright owner Madow!

Allow me to feast on your scrumpyoly cheeks, because it's my time to feast!

England, its not just (3, Insightful)

Mordie (1943326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625814)

its not just england. australia's goverment want one too, since politicans are the best and the brightest, not popular blowhards. seriously people, if your technology minster never worked in the industry, then problems you gonna have.

I run a Cybercafe under "safety" legislation (5, Insightful)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626204)

We here have a law just for cybercafes, supposedly to "reduce Internet crime". Basically it says no minors or alcohol, and recording the ID and keeping records on all users, there's a bunch of other articles but not so important.
So we have cops shaking down establishments that don't follow the laws. We have lawsuits demanding damages on cafe's that were used for sending anonymous emails to someone. We have potential customers (rightly) angry that they just want to use a computer for five minutes, and don't want to leave a dozen pieces of information on them for that. We have the constant concern that the police is coming by to check if everything is according to the laws. We have the concern that some disgruntled client or employee will start looking for some legal clauses not followed 100% (there are always some) and call the inspectors on us. We have the labor of creating, for each and every client, username, password, recording name, date of birth, ID, address, phone. Then people forgetting passwords, and resetting it for them, dozens of times a day. All labor we earn nothing for.
And no, this is not Iran or North Korea, it's Brazil.
I understand people want to catch criminals and reduce crime and violence. That's fine, even commendable. What people fail to do is properly study where crime and violence originates, and how to prevent or reduce it. If you put controls and checks everywhere, all the time, you'll reduce crime, yes, and make society and life terrible. Just like the Internet, if you want to prevent crime on the streets, you can install machines that check fingerprints, license plates, records a face on video, on every bridge, subway, bus, major avenue, and street corner. It's certain to reduce some crime, even a lot of it. You can install devices to check fingerprints and ID on the phones, to record all phone calls, to record conversations on every table in society. It will reduce crime, too. You can make all financial transactions analyzed by computers and requiring a description as to a purpose, to check for corruption, and theft, and so on. You can eliminate paper money, to force people to create electronic records of all purchases and expenses. Everything can be tracked and checked. That will reduce crime, too.
But none of that will eliminate the intention and motivation for crime. People have ignorance and violence in their heart and mind, motivated from anger from other past violence, ignorance, or bodily pain. Controlling people's actions does nothing to control what they feel, want, wish, think. That, we will only get with more, better education, education to think of others, of society, and not just oneself, which is exactly what our society does NOT encourage. It requires a a society that people don't feel they need to commit crime to advance in, that rewards intelligent and useful work, and not legalized psychological manipulation to sabotage people's brains into wanting and buying things that will do nothing they actually need. In short, if we want to reduce crime and violence, great, let's. It's built in to, and requires deep change to, the legal, financial, commerce, government, the moral values, the education system. It's not in the freaking Internet. Crime and violence does not run over wires. Crime and violence is not stored on hard drives, or transmitted over telecommunications systems. Crime and violence can be committed everywhere and with any means when someone is decided for it, just study any prison or war situations, and see if any "laws" or "enforcement" apply there, when violence has set in, when it's the order of the day. Crime and violence is born, lives and dies, grows and shrinks, every day, in the heart and mind of each and every citizen, neighbor, voter, employee and family member. If you want to reduce crime and violence you need a massive education campaign, teaching respect for all human beings, above all other principles, there is no other way. As it stands, it is taught that everything is more important than human beings. Tradition, the economy, politics, religion, sales, promotions, profits, anything in fact, is taught to be a reason for agression and manipulation of human beings, in order to advance individually. And education, yes, does run over wires, over radio waves, over whispers even. And the education our society gives is this "crime and violence pays, and very well - go for it, be tough, be strong, forgive nobody, go killer!". No, the Internet did not create education for violence - you did.

Re:I run a Cybercafe under "safety" legislation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627032)

If its such a problem, don't offer it

Re:I run a Cybercafe under "safety" legislation (3, Insightful)

Reziac (43301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627128)

Reduce crime? No. What it does is INCREASE crime, because now there are so many more things that are illegal.

[Crime here defined as "What the state doesn't want you doing" as contrasted to the commonsense definition of "Doing harm to others".]

Re:Hi there England... (0)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625974)

I'm Scottish you insensitive clod...

Re:Hi there England... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626268)

Oh great, so first of all slashdot completely overblows an article from the Daily Hate. Then when the expected response comes out we get patronised from the "Land of the Free"TM.

This was one MP who didn't know what he's talking about. He engaged with ISPs to find out how feasible his ideas were. They weren't. End of story. A story that shouldn't even have started.

Re:Hi there England... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626332)

its not the feasibility it's the ideas.

and MPs not knowing what they are talking about, except censorship, is a bad idea too.

I'm a worried about all the Gay stuff on the internet, I don't want my good white Anglo Saxon Catholic kids reading the poof-tattle. They'll grow up to be Nancy boys.

Re:Hi there England... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627060)

I'm a worried about all the Gay stuff on the internet, I don't want my good white Anglo Saxon Catholic kids reading the poof-tattle. They'll grow up to be Nancy boys.

Or Apple customers.

Re:Hi there England... (2)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626394)

It makes much more sense when read in this context [eff.org] .

Once you get such a filtering infrastructure in place by invoking the universal "think-of-the-children" excuse, then using said-system to filter out copyrighted material becomes a breeze. And if anyone complains, kindly remind them that complaining will only make them suspected pedophiles.

Re:Hi there England... (4, Insightful)

JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627154)

If you're concerned about them blocking porn and copyrighted material, you're thinking too small. The real concern is that once this kind of a system is in place, it becomes trivial to expand it to other content you don't like, such as Wikileaks or political dissidents or anything else that goes contrary to the Government-approved worldview.

We have always been at war with Eurasia.

Re:Hi there England... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626576)

In even entertaining a conversation on devolution of internet privacy to government, albeit to safe-guard child welfare, we allow the government to abrogate it's responsibility of creating a sound and socially sustainable education system and integrated welfare structure that supports our society by limiting the pyscho-social incidents which create individuals who prey on the vulnerable. We have already allowed our governments to create a value system where finance rules above integrity and honesty. How do we take back control? For a start, we can refuse to participate in the proposed lockdown freedom of surfing, access and download. Many laws have been created in the name of preserving the balance of our society and our safety. The best voters are docile, fearful voters. Ironically, what we fear most, the loss of hard-earned capital fortune and security, is already in the hands of institutions that operate outside the law: and when they over-extend themselves our governments bail them out so they can do it all over again. Internet security is sexy diversion and it works because it preys on our fears. Turn it around and ask the question; you, our elected government, what are you ding to make sure our society develops free of the abhorrence you are trying to legislate against?

Its been said before, but ill say it again. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34625660)

.xxx or sex or both TLD's need to be implemented.

Sure there would be a migration period of a few years, but once its done, its done. Sure new websites would pop up using the incorrect .com, but they could be taken down, or just deregistered, but realy, what benefit would there be to a porn content provider to use a .com ?

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34625700)

.xxx or sex or both TLD's need to be implemented.

There are dozens of reasons why this is a totally crap idea. No need to rehash them here -- it's been done to death already.

It suffices to say THIS WILL NEVER WORK IN A MILLION YEARS. Give it up already.

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625704)

but realy, what benefit would there be to a porn content provider to use a .com ?

Getting past simple minded filters?

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (4, Insightful)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625722)

The problem isn't the porn sites which are obviously adult content, it's the sites which are closer to the line, maybe lingerie shops?

Once you have a .sex TLD, you're introducing a binary classification to a scale which is not only analogue, but highly subjective.

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (3, Interesting)

Eivind (15695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626254)

Indeed. You impose a value-judgement, while claiming not to be. You single-out one specific kind of content that you, somehow, find needs to be segregated, then you claim you're not doing what you just did. A big lie.

I personally find the world of Disney more objectionable than the world of Cupido (local semi-pornographic magazine), yet one of these would be fine under .com while the other needs to go hide in the corner.

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (2)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626564)

you could say the same about .net and .org. the thing is, you should be allowed to choose whatever comes after the dot. and it need not be related to the content of the website. just like you're free to name your tech blog 'the pink unicorn'.

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626830)

Or Urban Dictionary. That was blocked by my mobile provider, but it's occasionally a useful site.

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626998)

As others have pointed out, ".kid" would be far more useful to parents than ".sex".

Likewise, if governments in Britain and Australia are so keen on filtering, why don't they run a graded whitelist server, free to ISPs to offer it to parents for their kids' accounts.

"I'd like one R-4 level filtered-account, one R-7, and one adult with phishing & malware block, please."

It's easier for parents than trying to manage net-nanny software, saves ISPs the hassle of administering the filter (they just supply the IP of the Gov DNS on log-in).

Hey, if you communications ministers think filtering won't cost ISPs any extra, RUN IT YOURSELF! Call for bids, publish the figures, and see if you can justify that cost as being worth it to the taxpayer. If you can't, maybe you were wrong in the first place.

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (4, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625736)

I've got a better idea: just leave things alone.

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625978)

I say let's put filtering ! Now the game will be to put porn on governmental websites, report them, and see what happens.

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (1)

Maddog Batty (112434) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626154)

I say let's put filtering ! Now the game will be to put porn on governmental websites, report them, and see what happens.

Or Jamie Olivers website... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/20/jamie_oilver_hiccup/ [theregister.co.uk]

The offending image has now been removed but it was there yesterday.

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34625762)

RFC 3675 [ietf.org] details many of the reasons why such a domain would be useless at best, and harmful at worst.

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625942)

Sure new websites would pop up using the incorrect .com, but they could be taken down, or just deregistered, but realy, what benefit would there be to a porn content provider to use a .com ?

What's porn?

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626954)

And which country's definition of pornography are you going to use? Japan's? The USA? Hollands? Even different courts in the same country often disagree about whether something is pornographic - good luck persuading everyone in the world to agree.

Re:Its been said before, but ill say it again. (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627002)

.xxx or sex or both TLD's need to be implemented.

Sure there would be a migration period of a few years, but once its done, its done. Sure new websites would pop up using the incorrect .com, but they could be taken down, or just deregistered, but realy, what benefit would there be to a porn content provider to use a .com ?

A ".child" or ".kid" is a far better idea - restrict young children to that domain and let the rest of us use the internet as it's meant to be.

Told you (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625706)

Allow a filter for kiddie porn and it won't be long before someone suggests since you can filter X you can also filter Y. Why do you think every sensible person who mattered was behind Larry Flynt and his smut? Because either you defend the smut you find disgusting or get censored yourself. It is only a matter of time before someone finds you in poor taste.

Yes, this does mean you must defend the possibility of having kiddie porn on the net. If you are not willing to tolerate toddler porn being transmitted then you are saying "censor anything you want on the internet". A very difficult position to take. Either you have freedom and people abusing it or you don't. And oddly enough even if you limit your own freedom, it don't stop the abusers. Take away "legal" kiddie porn and only child rapist will have kiddie porn... eh what? But the proof is clear, having sex with children is illegal in many ways in the Catholic church, doesn't seem to stop them does it? Child porn is already highly illegal in most countries and yet children keep being abused. The filters, they do NOTHING!

Except function as the introduction of filters for anything else the elite object to.

Though choice. Either surrender your freedom or be a child rape defender. Because ANYONE suggesting that the internet should not be censored and controlled wants to share child porn, just as everyone who defended Larry Flint wanted smut.

It is getting very hard to not be either a pedo or a terrorist these days. Think I will just surrender my freedom. So much easier and I can also get back to watching Idols.

Re:Told you (5, Insightful)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625952)

If you are not willing to tolerate toddler porn being transmitted then you are saying "censor anything you want on the internet".

I don't think we have to prepare ourselves to tolerate child porn in such a way. Child porn is already illegal in it's own right and should be dealt with using the laws we have available for it's removal from society. Same goes for inciting terrorism and other kinds of 'distasteful' stuff including, like it or not, copyrighted material. Freedom of speech isn't a concern relating to these, legally anyway.

I think when a politicians ask the question, "Can we have a filter?", your answer should be, "Ah, you mean like China and Iran..."

The impact to civil liberty is more clearly understood in that context.

Re:Told you (3, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626164)

I don't think we have to prepare ourselves to tolerate child porn in such a way. Child porn is already illegal in it's own right and should be dealt with using the laws we have available for it's removal from society.

And as we can see, that includes cartoons. At least in some puritan countries.

I think when a politicians ask the question, "Can we have a filter?", your answer should be, "Ah, you mean like China and Iran..."

The impact to civil liberty is more clearly understood in that context.

Agreed. Spread the meme.

I apologize in advance for the behavior of my AC stalker.

Re:Told you (0)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626400)

removal from society?

Your having a laugh right? just like drugs, alcohol etc...

and what does legality have to do with it? So if some freedom fighters (I'll call them the IRA cos that's not too controversial) take up arms after being attacked by their government, the law making them terrorists is OK is it? and it's going to stop them.

laws don't stop anything of that nature, you can't stop something once it's happened. They just end up putting people in prison.

There are a few quite strong far right groups in the UK, and I expect the KKK is still going.

Re:Told you (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626464)

All of what you said is true but nowhere in my comment did I say anything about the effectiveness of those laws. If anything, what you say highlights the ineffectivesness of further legislation. I simply proposed that we need not 'accept' child porn in order that freedom of information not be countermanded by additional controlling laws. Sorry for not covering all the bases but I thought that was obvious.

Re:Told you (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626756)

sometimes the obvious needs pointing out, 'Your having a laugh right?'

Re:Told you (2)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626596)

The IRA robbed banks and blew up streets and buses. They are responsible for several hundred deaths. Why think of them as freedom fighters? Is it somehow ok, because the people who died were English?

By your own logic people who lay IED's in Afganistan are freedom fighters and to commended.

Some examples of their work:
Omagh Bombing [bbc.co.uk]
Hammersmith Bridge [bbc.co.uk]
RPG Attack on MI6 [bbc.co.uk]
BBC Car Bomb [bbc.co.uk]

I could go one but I'm getting bored.

Re:Told you (0)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626782)

I'm English.

The English and American Armys have done what?

need not I remind you of your hippocratic naturebloody sunday [wikipedia.org] ?

"By your own logic people who lay IED's in Afganistan are freedom fighters and to commended."

Yep.

Re:Told you (1)

JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627216)

The point he's making is that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter. He's questioning the objectivity of such sujective terms used in laws. "It's OK to quash them, they're just Terrorists."

Re:Told you (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627064)

Afghan people who kill Americans in America == Terrorists
Afghan people who kill Americans in Afghanistan == Freedom fighters

Re:Told you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627134)

So you agree with the parent poster then?

IRA were freedom fighters when killing UK soldiers in Ireland. But they were terrorist scum when they started a bombing campaign against English civilians.

What about when they mercilessly killed they own people in Ireland, for not fighting for the 'right side'?

Re:Told you (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626774)

"So if some freedom fighters (I'll call them the IRA cos that's not too controversial) take up arms"

Fuck the revolution [youtube.com] , ( speech @ 4:00 ).

Re:Told you (1)

tdobson (1391501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626760)

www.cleanternet.org

Re:Told you (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626174)

Allow a filter for kiddie porn and it won't be long before someone suggests since you can filter X you can also filter Y.

Of course, this isn't actually true. The only reason any progress has been made on child porn filtering is because there's a rather large group of people who are willing to report it when they find it, so you can easily build up a list of those sites that have been around for a while (of course this doesn't help with usenet/file sharing/image boards/anything else that changes quickly, and filtering has largely failed in these areas) and block them. One can only assume that, in order to be finding child porn, the people reporting it are probably searching for ordinary porn, and might be somewhat less enthusiastic about reporting that, so I don't suspect you'd get the volunteers. Which means you'd have to pay for it. Which would be very expensive.

Abuse is inevitable (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34625718)

I think rampant government corruption will do more to damage my child's mind than seeing some porn.
There is simply too much room for abuse for this to be acceptable (at this point in history we need to assume there _will_ be abuse rather than simply hope there won't be).

As soon as you enforce a real age verification, you're forcing someone to identify themselves with a credit card or some other personally identifying mechanism. That in itself is wrong.

The lists of blocked sites itself will become a target for misuse or theft. Imagine someone getting a hold of a block list of URLs and turning it into a treasure trove of exactly what the government doesn't want you to see.

Let parents do the filtering. Grant net filtering companies money for advertising public awareness if you must. But government enforced filtering is just evil.

Re:Abuse is inevitable (1)

Ismellpoop (1949100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625922)

I think rampant government corruption will do more to damage my child's mind than seeing some porn.
Did you tell your social worker that to?

Re:Abuse is inevitable (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627066)

Did you put your preposition the end of sentence to?

Screw it (4, Interesting)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625730)

Politicians needed 20+ years to catch up on the Internet and now they're trying to basically destroy it. Let them. They're great at messing things up.

Let us Slashdot nerds focus on building the future Internet. Whether it's a freenet of NFC capable devices or something other that much brighter minds come up with. Let's focus our energy on designing an impossible to corrupt network unrelated and (at least in essence) independent on what will be the government controlled old Internet.

Re:Screw it (4, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625780)

I agree however the problem isn't that people need anonymity on the internet with something like Freenet. What needs to happen is that the original peer to peer structure of the internet needs to come back so that ISPs and governments can not filter and close down site's they disagree with such as wikileaks.

Part of the problem could be solved with something like a city wide mesh networking using a protocol like OLSR. That way an ISP can never filter out a site the mesh simply routes around the damage. If eveyone's ISPs are filtered you could simply redirect censored traffic through a proxy.

Being anonymous really isn't a factor in who controls the internet.

Re:Screw it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34625934)

Not city wide, it should be global.

Re:Screw it (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625982)

An interesting idea, and one that I've long pondered myself. It is increasingly clear to me that the Internet needs to return to being a collection of peers, for its own health and the freedom of the people who utilize it. The tech for this is gradually becoming available and useful, mostly in the form of wireless mesh networks over unlicensed airwaves -- as you've noted.

But you seem to be arguing against anonymity, or are at least displaying a lot of indifference about it. I tend to agree: Usually, I could care less about being anonymous online -- a studious researcher could easily link this old Slashdot ID back to my actual self, for instance, and it would be of little detriment to me if this were done, even though I often display a particularly callous and honest side of me here that I try hard not to display in the real world.

However, there are instances where genuine anonymity may be of great value: Researching a legal predicament, a medical issue, or (in this context) downloading pornography, along with a whole lot of other things that folks may need or want to do online, whom would be safer (or whom could be more open) if they were completely anonymous.

So, let me ask: Would it not be a good thing if it were the case that in the course of returning teh Intarwebs to their peer-based roots, that truly anonymous access were to come with it? If it were the case that it had zero technical cost vs. a non-anonymous system, would you support that?

Re:Screw it (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626196)

In a large scale wireless mesh network system one could easily be anonymous if they connected in different areas and didn't give away identifying information or used encryption.

In an ISP bound Freenet internet you'd still have to worry about what your ISP is doing to your internet connection because you're not a peer. The power is still in their hands and they can cut you off for any reason.

There's nothing stopping you from using both solutions however I think it's unrealistic to think that if everyone started using Freenet and being anonymous then it would solve the internet's infrastructure problems because you still have the number one issue, your ISP is your only "peer".

Re:Screw it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626034)

Check out OLPC and 802.11s, African Kids have it already.

Re:Screw it (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626122)

Correct me if I am wrong however I don't think 802.11s is designed for large scale mesh networking in the thousands of peers range.

Re:Screw it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626238)

You are correct, the standard only supports 32 mesh nodes. I mainly wanted to encourage people to look up MANETs.

The frontier is getting civilized. (2)

hajus (990255) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625740)

In the 80's and early 90's, the internet's had a feel of a frontier environment with the freedom we've had. Since the Eternal September, it's had more and more pressure to confirm to the most conservative taboos as the average population demographic changes. This happened to the new world, happened to the west, and now the internet.

Re:The frontier is getting civilized. (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625910)

.gov Likes this.

Re:The frontier is getting civilized. (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627230)

Is that why so many dotcom billionaires are involved in new.space? 'Tis the new New Frontier.

[30 years later...]

"UN announced plans to take over the currently unregulated asteroid trade..."

"In unrelated news, asteroid-mining quadrillionaire, Jon Goff Jr., announced plans to develop Pulse-Wave ships capable of reaching the Oort Cloud in weeks rather than years..."

Raising expectations (1)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625742)

. 'If we take this step it will not take very long to end up with an internet that's a walled garden of sites the governments is happy for you to see,' he said."
That one sentence will have every government in the world salivating.

Re:Walled Garden (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625914)

Yep.

Govs & Pols & Biz are re-reading classic old dystopian SF with Moral-Reversal glasses on.

Great Firewall ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34625748)

of England?

We all know that's where this is headed...

Re:Great Firewall ... (3, Funny)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626088)

Hadrian's Firewall?

Re:Great Firewall ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626646)

The Great Firewall of London

Re:Great Firewall ... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626974)

"Hadrian's Firewall?"

Protecting the civilised world from large hairy men wearing nothing under their skirts.

I think the biggest issue (1)

MicroRoller (1923300) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625752)

I think the biggest issue that ISP's have (at least should have) regards liability.

None of these systems are going to be perfect. If some porn gets through to the wrong person after the ISP said they would block it....

Hurray! (1)

ScottySniper (1699386) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625774)

Hurray!

Yes. (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625802)

Thank you.

The language all consumers understand: money. (4, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625806)

You end up with a system that's either hugely expensive and a losing battle because there are millions of these sites or it's just not effective. The cost of putting these systems in place outweigh the benefits, to my mind.

Just release a public statement that you'll be happy to institute this filter but you'll have to significantly raise rates for customers to recoup the cost. Angry constituents will be flooding the politician's in-boxes to put a stop to this.

Re:The language all consumers understand: money. (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625940)

You end up with a system that's either hugely expensive and a losing battle because there are millions of these sites or it's just not effective. The cost of putting these systems in place outweigh the benefits, to my mind.

Just release a public statement that you'll be happy to institute this filter but you'll have to significantly raise rates for customers to recoup the cost. Angry constituents will be flooding the politician's in-boxes to put a stop to this.

This will be a double lie: lie that you can do it effectively (nobody can) and lie that will cost anyone an arm and a leg. What's wrong with admitting that parentship, nanny-ing and supervision must stay within the family?

Besides, if there aren't only "consumers"only the money in their pocket in this world that mind: the donations to Wikileaks sort-of prove it.

Re:The language all consumers understand: money. (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626206)

This will be a double lie: lie that you can do it effectively (nobody can) and lie that will cost anyone an arm and a leg.

You can do it *almost* effectively. Give me around one employee for every 5 subscribers, and I can set up an ISP where any porn image/movie not downloaded over an encrypted connection will only ever be seen once. I reckon subscription costs would only be something like £1000 a month.

Re:The language all consumers understand: money. (1)

heikkile (111814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626276)

And release a statement that they are testing this new filter, and have signed all politicians up for a trial. Randomly block about 10% of their traffic, and also some porn sites. Slow down their download speeds, and triple the prices. Anyone who publicly supports the filtering will of course get added to the trial.

Router filters (1)

Exclamation mark! (1961328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625840)

Wouldn't it be simple to put out an update on your average home router with a list of porn sites that parents can switch on and off or come up with some sort of a standard which I'm sure wouldn't be hard to implement. Don't the ISPs already have customized firmware? This way parents have protection they want and we can still have liberty.

Re:Router filters (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626264)

Wouldn't it be simple to put out an update on your average home router with a list of porn sites that parents can switch on and off

No. There are perhaps somewhere in the region of 4 million porn sites out there (source [toptenreviews.com] , possibly biased, but probably somewhere in the right ballpark). Assuming an average site age of 5 years (which is probably way too high), that's about 2,000 new sites per day to maintain that level. You'd need to update the list very frequently to keep it up to date, and even then, who's going to compile it?

Also: a typical home router has between 16MB and 64MB of flash for its firmware. To block those 4 million porn sites without collaterally blocking other sites hosted on the same servers, you'll need to encode exact addresses, at probably around 20 bytes or so each (once compressed), so you simply can't fit that list into the memory of existing home routers. I mean, this [bt.com] is one of the best you can get, and only comes with 24MB of flash by default. You can expand it to 56MB if you need it, but even that wouldn't be enough.

Re:Router filters (1)

j-b0y (449975) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626534)

You'd need to update the list very frequently to keep it up to date, and even then, who's going to compile it?

I, for the good of humanity, volunteer for this strenuous task. Or at least for the good sites anyway.

Re:Router filters (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626714)

Which is why you don't do it that way. I can think of a few ways you can do it, with relatively little hassle (albeit some expense):

- Contract with someone like OpenDNS to use their filtered DNS service for your customers and transparently redirect all DNS queries to that service. It won't do anything about using raw IP addresses or services which aren't as heavily dependent on DNS as web browsing, but that's practically nobody these days. I'd think it's certainly enough to shut up your average MP.

- Transparently proxy anything you don't like. Most ISPs are already operating a transparent proxy, and in the UK they're already blocking child porn. Again, only really effective against plain HTTP.

This whole "outweigh the benefit" nonsense (4, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625860)

Isn't anyone going to stand up and say that preventing children from accidentally coming across pornography has absolutely NO benefit? Pornography is not amoral. Pornography is normal. Accidentally stumbling across pornography is exactly as bad as accidentally stumbling across a lolcat.
"Think of the children"? Okay, I think the children will not be warped by seeing some porn. Not wanting children to take part in pornography is one thing. Not wanting children to spend all day looking at pornography is one thing. Not wanting children to accidentally stumble on porn is ridiculous.

Pornography itself does not cause anything bad.

Re:This whole "outweigh the benefit" nonsense (1)

Darkon (206829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625932)

Furthermore, does anyone buy the argument about kids stumbling across pornography by accident? I've never seen teh boobies anywhere online except when I was looking for them.

Re:This whole "outweigh the benefit" nonsense (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626096)

I have stumbled across some silicone with only skin over it while looking for a NoCD patch before Ad Block Plus came to my attention.
Of course these sites offer mostly illegal contents, so the copyright bastards would like them blocked anyway.
Disclaimer: I have a system without permanent CD rom drive. How the hell am I going to run a game with the CD/DVD in the drive?

Re:This whole "outweigh the benefit" nonsense (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626686)

I use stumble upon in my spare time. I've come across "porn" disguised as art (painting, CG art, photo art).

/begin sarcasm
I'd love someone to block this content for me as I see no artistic or cultural value what so ever. Who needs to see the Venus De Milo or Michelangelo's David anyway
/end sarcasm

I'm sure if there was filtering in place the system would very quickly turn in to something like M.A.D.D Canada. They want it so everyone has to have a breathalyzer in their car to block it from starting if you've even had one drink with dinner. It's an organization out of control and they commonly operate under the "Think of the Children" mantra. So if they don't get their way obviously the politician doesn't care about children or the victims of drinking and driving.

Re:This whole "outweigh the benefit" nonsense (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626218)

Isn't anyone going to stand up and say that preventing children from accidentally coming across pornography has absolutely NO benefit? Pornography is not amoral. Pornography is normal. Accidentally stumbling across pornography is exactly as bad as accidentally stumbling across a lolcat. "Think of the children"? Okay, I think the children will not be warped by seeing some porn. Not wanting children to take part in pornography is one thing. Not wanting children to spend all day looking at pornography is one thing. Not wanting children to accidentally stumble on porn is ridiculous.

Pornography itself does not cause anything bad.

Now, this is deduction from pure introspection, YMMV and $disclaimer. However, I should think that a child who stumbles across some porn either has no interest in it and doesn’t understand it, or it did in fact search for it. In neither case is there any damage.

While I’ve heard of childhood trauma caused by running into your parents having sex, it can only happen at an age when it is imprudent to leave kids online on their own anyway.

Re:This whole "outweigh the benefit" nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626304)

Pornography itself does not cause anything bad.

Carpal tunnel syndrome?

Unfotunately? (2)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625888)

Trefor Davies, chief technology officer at ISP Timico, commented that 'Unfortunately, it's technically not possible to completely block this stuff.

Why is it unfortunate? Isn't it a good thing that content can't be arbitrarily blocked? If it could it would assist the goals of totalitarian regimes and those who are against freedom of speech.

Hmm...Won't change anything. (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625908)

Whether it be a suit-locker full of playboys or something that requires a flash codex, you get my point.

I hate ignorant people. I'm really just at that point this holiday season Slashdot. So much bad news someone cheer me up...please.

Re:Hmm...Won't change anything. (2)

Evtim (1022085) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626194)

Cheer up!

If you live in Europe, you will notice that the winter has (for the third time in a row) surprised both business and authorities. As a result:

1. You can go to work late and excuse yourself with the transport system.
2. Staying more at home means on average more sex (yhea I know, this is /. but still...)
3. You save money by not going on that Christmas shopping spree (in another country), because there are no flights.
4. You can have endless fun poking overzealous environmentalist by asking in true Fox news style "is this the global warming?"

So, cheer up!

Re:Hmm...Won't change anything. (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626372)

I hate ignorant people. I'm really just at that point this holiday season Slashdot. So much bad news someone cheer me up...please.

Me too new friend! Whenever someone I know tries to claim that Reiki, Numerology, Homeopathy, Astrology or any of those other kinds of bullshit are "real" and that they are "free to believe in it if they want to" so I can just go STFU, I fire up Left 4 Dead 2 [steampowered.com] , bust out a chainsaw, axe or a katana and just go to town on some Zombies. Very very very therapeutic. Try it :)

Re:Hmm...Won't change anything. (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626628)

So much bad news someone cheer me up...please.

http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20021104 [girlgeniusonline.com]

Start at the beginning, then work your way through the middle until you reach the end. Then stop.

Its quite simple. (1)

Ismellpoop (1949100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625912)

Unfortunately, it's technically not possible to completely block this stuff. You end up with a system that's either hugely expensive and a losing battle because there are millions of these sites or it's just not effective. The cost of putting these systems in place outweigh the benefits, to my mind.
Pornnet and Internet could be separated or as simple as .porn domain to make filtering easier.

Re:Its quite simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626166)

O'RLY?

What about underwear shops? You can buy underhosen and lingerie on amazon you know!

Where does 4chan go then? Or every single bulletin board on the planet with an uncensored section.

What about usenet? IRC networks? Peoples own private domains?

Wikileaks photos of naked torture victims?

And *who gets to decide*?

There are better ways to achieve the aims: Look at the rest of Europe; They are much more overt and comfortable to their sexuality and they seem no worse off than the UK. I'd say they're better off even!

Why is that?

EDU-FUCKING-CATION

(Which ironically is something this government is currently cutting from nurseries up to universities!)

This is just a way for them to get a foot hold in to exert more control and help further pave the way to the People's Democratic Republic of Great Briton;

Monitor the population, control the media, stamp out dissent with new laws, repeal and rewrite freedoms out of the law. Like the US, they've been loosing personal freedoms insidiously over the last decade, traded for freedoms of corporations, but the UK people are either too dumb to notice or too stupid to do anything about it.

Re:Its quite simple. (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626244)

So, in your opinion, what qualifies as "porn"? What does Mr. "I am extremely conservative oh no a girl in a swimsuit" consider "porn"?

Re:Its quite simple. (2)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626438)

does a Ferengi consider a woman in traditional Islamic dress porn?

Re:Its quite simple. (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627042)

Pornnet and Internet could be separated or as simple as .porn domain to make filtering easier.

As I said above, a ".child" or ".kids" domain is a better idea that .porn or ".xxx". There are many reasons for this - no need to make anyone move domains, no need to try and work out what's porn and what isn't, and it means the rest of us can carry on using the internet as it's meant to be (.com, .org, .co.uk etc. domains won't have to worry about material that's a little risque but not porn).

Simply put ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34625992)

... Control is the opposite of freedom

how does filtering work elsewhere? (3, Interesting)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626094)

In Finland they made a kiddie porn filter. It's pretty funny, there is hardly any oversight, no formal investigation by the police regarding sites that get filtered, and thus no process for removal of sites that are falsely flagged. Originally the law covered only sites that are abroad (I guess the idea was that local ones would be handled traditionally by the police), but that did not stop them adding the most vocal critic of the system to the list of filtered sites.

And of course best of all, it's a dns based filter so it's very trivial for anybody to bypass even if they are not technologically advanced.

I'd like to hear a success story from somewhere in the world regarding these filterings, but till now it seems governments participating on these are competing on who has the biggest failure, yet still considering them to be a success. The biggest winners are probably the companies designing the systems, and I would not be in the least bit surprised if the same companies act as advisors when analyzing if it would be worth while before starting.

Re:how does filtering work elsewhere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626390)

Wow! I never knew that. I always thought the Finland gov would have more of a grasp of technology than many other gov's......

Great Wall of China - UK Edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626118)

Is it me or does it seem like they're basically trying to sneak in a UK equivalent of the Great Wall of China here?

And what happened to parents and such supervising their children?

Filter this (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626260)

UK ISPs have responded to culture minister Ed Vaisey's comments regarding pervasive, opt-out only porn filtering

Well, at least they recognize porn as a matter of culture!

Unfortunately, it's technically not possible to completely block this stuff. You end up with a system that's either hugely expensive and a losing battle because there are millions of these sites or it's just not effective. The cost of putting these systems in place outweigh the benefits, to my mind.

C.f. "War on Drugs". But then, nobody in the US Congress or DoJ is going to agree with him on the porn, either.

electronic components (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626338)

http://www.hqew.net

Parental responsibility (1)

IAmAI (961807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626428)

'Ispa firmly believes that controls on children's access to the internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down.'

I think it's very important that government lets parents take responsibility for theirchildren. If the government thinks they have to take responsibility for the safety of children on the behalf of parents, it will only encourage parents to take less responsibility for their children: From their point of view they don't need to because the government is doing it for them. However, can we really trust the government to be able to effectively take responsibility for our children? No, because only parents can take responsible for their children. The government needs to be supporting parents in being responsible for their children, rather than taking it away from them, which is what this filtering will do. Essentially, it will do little to protect children, and in the long run will do more harm that good.

Of course, as has already been suggested, rather than a misguided attempt at 'helping the children', this is purely a façade to drip-feed in some form of government censorship, which makes the whole thing even more disgraceful.

The Internet (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626720)

Isn't the internet just a large collection of computers connected together via a smaller (though still large) collection of computers that control things like DNS tables (OK, a bit of a simplification). But what would stop some determined criminals from creating their own "internet 2", say, and using that, totally un-policed? Surely there is a way round any law for determined criminals?

Re:The Internet (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626766)

Isn't the internet just a large collection of computers connected together via a smaller (though still large) collection of computers that control things like DNS tables (OK, a bit of a simplification). But what would stop some determined criminals from creating their own "internet 2", say, and using that, totally un-policed? Surely there is a way round any law for determined criminals?

Criminals try to get around all laws, and law makers try to prevent that. In a way it's not really the issue here, and neither is the law (the things they are trying to prevent are already illegal so adding filtering does not change anything in that respect).

The problem is, that the methods used for this filtering is generally DNS filtering which is of course very trivial to bypass. This means that anyone actually wanting to break the law can do it just as easily as before (because changing your dns host is far easier then finding kiddie porn). Also methods to get around the filters are not illegal, you can use open-dns or other dns providers if you want to and they don't generally have to abide to any single countries laws (apart from where they are hosted from).

Any way you look at these, they just can't really be anything else then somebody trying to make an impression that they are making a difference when they really are not (not the difference they claim anyway). Maybe you could consider it as buying votes with public money.

Already done (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627022)

ISP's in the UK already perform content filtering using the IWF blacklist [wikipedia.org] .

It's optional, but mandatory for any ISP that wants a shot at bidding for contracts with government agencies and other public bodies. In other words, pretty much all of them have it.

what about enforcement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627156)

Why can't this be turned around so enforcement becomes the "filter." A site where anyone can anonymously send either a forwarded email or a simple link that they believe is doing something illegal. Then the agency that monitors this site can click on the link or look at the email and see if it is illegal. If it is, bust them, if it isn't, delete that message. Done deal.

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